ContactOut’s Definitive Guide to Onboarding New Hires

What is this about? 🤷‍♂️

This guide dives into the transformative power of effective onboarding, emphasizing the innovative “First 90 Days” framework. Through this approach, we’ll explore how companies can ensure a smooth transition for new hires, setting them up for success from the outset.

What will you learn by the end of this guide? 🎓

  • The mechanics and importance of a robust onboarding strategy.
  • How to seamlessly integrate new hires, making them feel valued from day one.
  • Mastery of the “First 90 Days” framework, a proven approach to successful onboarding.

Why is it important? 💡

Onboarding is the first impression a company makes on its new hires.

A well-executed onboarding process fosters commitment, drives early productivity, and reduces turnover. In contrast, a lacklustre onboarding can lead to early exits and missed opportunities.

Here’s the step-by-step to do it: 🛠️

1️⃣ Pre-Onboarding: Setting the tone

Introductory Communications – Send a comprehensive welcome email outlining role expectations.

Example: “Hey [Name]! 🚀 We’re thrilled to welcome you aboard as our newest [Role, e.g., ‘Data Scientist’]. In the coming weeks, you’ll be working closely with the Product team, diving into [specific tasks e.g., ‘data modeling for our upcoming app’]. Remember, questions are the keys to clarity, so don’t hesitate to reach out.”

Resource Provision – Share a digital kit with insightful company materials.

Example: Share a Dropbox link containing a short welcome video from the CEO, a PDF on the company’s history, an organizational chart, and the company’s core values.

See: Remote Handbook 🔍

Technical Preparation – Ensure they’re technologically equipped from day one.

Example: Share a checklist that includes items like:

  • Slack installation and setup
  • Access to the company’s internal dashboard
  • Setting up email and calendar
  • A virtual tech walk-through scheduled for their first day


2️⃣ Onboarding: Mastering the First 90 Days

First 30 Days: Immersion Phase

1. Introductions – Facilitate either a physical or virtual tour.

Example: For remote employees: Schedule a Zoom call where different team leads give a brief about their teams. For in-office employees: A guided tour of the office space, with brief stops at different departments.

2. Training – Provide access to relevant training materials.

Example: Share access to an online portal containing video modules about the company’s software tools, industry best practices, and role-specific tasks.

3. Mentorship – Connect them with an experienced colleague for guidance.

Example: Pair them up with John, a senior team member, who has been with the company for 5+ years. Schedule weekly coffee catch-ups between them.

Next 30 Days: Integration Phase

1. Hands-on Engagement – Assign a team-centric project to showcase their skills.

Example: Assign the new hire to collaborate with the Marketing team on the upcoming product launch, allowing them to use and demonstrate their analytical skills.

2. Feedback Loop – Organize a feedback session to discuss their initial contributions.

Example: Schedule a feedback session with the project manager after the product launch to discuss their role, what went well, and areas of improvement.

3. Cross-departmental Interactions – Facilitate interactions with allied departments.

Example: Organize a lunch-and-learn with the Sales team to better understand the end-to-end process.

Final 30 Days: Reinforcement Phase

1. Review – Conduct a constructive review of their early contributions.

Example: Arrange a sit-down their direct manager to review their contributions, and team collaboration and gather feedback for the onboarding process.

2. Goal Setting – Initiate discussions about their long-term aspirations within the company.

Example: A meeting with their team lead to discuss potential areas they want to explore, such as taking up a leadership role in the future or diving deeper into a specific domain.

Post-Onboarding: Long-term Engagement

1. Continuous Learning – Advocate for ongoing educational opportunities.

Example: Offer them a choice of courses from platforms like Coursera or Udemy, sponsored by the company, that align with their role and growth.

2. Regular Dialogues – Prioritize consistent check-ins to maintain alignment.

Example: Monthly check-ins with their manager to discuss the past month’s achievements, any challenges faced, and the upcoming month’s goals.

Here’s an example of how you can map out their progress:

Image source:

Next steps 🚀:

  • Ensure onboarding processes are flexible to cater to various working environments.
  • Use proven methodologies like the “First 90 Days” to give depth to your onboarding process.

👋 By focusing on the critical initial phase of an employee’s journey, organizations can foster a sense of belonging, drive early engagement, and lay the groundwork for long-term retention and productivity.

Further resources 📚:

📌 Employee Onboarding Guide: Definition, Importance, Best Practices And Checklist
📌 7-Steps To A Perfect Employee Onboarding Process For New Hires & Best Onboarding Software Platforms In 2023
📌 How To Create The Perfect Onboarding Checklist For New Hire Employees

⬅️ Back to Recruitment Mastery Hub